[Review] Samsung G600


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Martyn

A new phone has been a long time coming for me, and just a few weeks ago I got my hands on a lovely Samsung G600. In the past, I have written and posted little reviews to Neowin for my previous last two phones; the Sony Ericsson K800i and Sony Ericsson W800i. I wrote this review originally for my blog, so if you would rather read it over there then click here...

I really did need a new phone. I had owned my K800i for around 18 months, and to be honest it was more or less unusable. The joystick often refused to work full stop, even after I took the phone apart and gave it a good seeing to. The phone itself was big, bulky and generally laggy. All these annoyances coupled together made the K800i one of the worst phones I have ever had, and I often had an overwhelming urge to throw it at the wall.

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My K800i annoyed me so much that I actually bought a Nokia 8310 from eBay for ?14! The 8310 is a classic phone, it is small and stylish, and it is probably the best black and white phone ever available in my opinion. It may not have all the snazzy features of the K800i itself, but it got the job done.

So in came the Samsung G600. I was looking for a slim, stylish, reliable phone with reasonable features that would get the job done. After pining for a new mobile phone for many months, I found that in the G600. I would have loved to have gotten my hands on the Samsung U900 Soul, which looks to be an amazing phone, but it was just too much out of my set price range.

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The G600 is my first Samsung phone, and it is also my first none brick phone, being that it is a slide phone. To be honest, I just fancied a bit of a change and the G600 seemed to be most suited to myself. So far, I have not been disappointed, and the Samsung G600 "just works" perfectly. Of course, when I get a new piece of technology to play with at first there is a huge novelty, and I still feel that about my G600, I just hope that my new little sidekick stays as pretty and reliable as it is now a year down the line!

First, a rundown of the core specifications of the Samsung G600. The phone is a quad band EDGE phone and ships with dimensions of just 101mm x 47.8mm x 14.9mm, weighing just 104 grams, the G600 also sports a large and clear 240 x 320 pixel screen supporting up to 16 million colours. The phone also has a 5 mega pixel (2592 x 1944 pixels) camera, with features such as autofocus, image stabiliser and flash, whilst also recording video up to VGA standard. It comes with an embedded memory of 55MB and shipped (at least for me) with a 512MB MicroSD memory card.

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Aesthetically, the G600 gains top marks from myself. I remember when I was looking at potential phones, the G600 did not really stand out in pictures I saw of it online, and in that sense the phone was not done justice. As soon as I opened the box of my new phone and laid my eyes on the beautiful black shiny metal finish of the G600, I could see that it is a phone with its own sense of style. It was much slimmer and less blocky than I thought it would be.

I love the smooth, dark and metal finish the Samsung G600 has. If you lay it in your hand it is cool to the touch and surprisingly slim and slender considering it is a slide phone. At the same time, the G600 feels like it has a quality, compact build quality to it. The sliding form factor is something I am adapting to and rather like, accepting or ending a call by sliding open or close the phone just echoes coolness. The only attribute that could improve the already superb aesthetics of the G600 is if it shipped by default with a vectorised image of Fernando Torres in full flow as a wallpaper, and in that sense my Samsung G600 is a world above anyone else’s!

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A good operating system and user interface is fundamental to any mobile phone. Having experienced both Nokia and Sony Ericsson interfaces in the past through previous phones, I was looking forward to trying something that was different, but would not require much effort to learn (my brain is already in overload at the moment with all of these exams!). I have to say though; I really like the interface that the Samsung G600 offers. When you first access the menu screen you are presented with a sexy selection of icons to choose from, situated in the top half of the screen, whilst at the bottom of the screen you are also presented with a scrolling list of enlarged icons offering an overview of your current selection.

The interface is fairly customisable and offers a variety of preinstalled themes for you to choose, whilst allowing you to even change such intricacies such as font colour. Each menu is presented in a logical order, and most options are relatively easy to navigate to, with the one exception for me being Bluetooth which seemed to take my donkeys years to find. Overall, the G600's operating system is fairly quick and snappy, and is light years quicker than my old K800i, which left me with time to have something to eat whilst waiting for a text message to open! That in itself is a great relief for me.

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The G600 has competitive features. A 5 mega pixel camera equals the resolution that the best camera phone on the market currently offers at the time of writing. However, despite the common misconception, the bigger the resolution a camera can take of a photograph is not the be all and end all of a photographs quality. The quality of the camera lens makes a big difference, as do nice little gimmicks like image stabilisiser (who wants blurry photos?). From the minimal playing around I have done with the camera on the Samsung G600, it does seem to take fairly good photos, but to be honest the camera on the phone is not massively important to me as I have a Canon IXUS 70.

Likewise, my need for a music player has already been fulfilled by my iPod nano (2G 8GB black model). However, from messing around with built in music player I have been quite impressed with what I have seen, and I am used to a good music player on my phone from the days of the W800i. I particularly love the way that when you play a song you can minimise it to the desktop, where it is sexily displayed whilst it is being played. Aesthetically the music player is top notch, and for features it has practically everything it needs to be effective and efficient. The G600 also bundles some generic in ear headphones for use with the music player and radio, but unfortunately the phone does not come with an adapter that allows you to use your own headphones.

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In all honesty, I only have a few light criticisms when it comes to the Samsung G600. My only real criticism is with the phones texting interface, it can be a hard task in order to insert an apostrophe into a message (yes, I am a grammar freak). The same can be said for when I want to insert an emotion into a message, it is a tedious task and I have to go through several menus.

The lovely thing about a modern mobile phone is that it tries to incorporate many technologies into one device. Personally, the three most important devices I have on my person in terms of use is my mobile phone, my iPod and my camera. The Samsung G600 incorporates all of these features together, saving some lovely pocket room, but unfortunately they are not all up to the standard of individual devices. In all truth, you are never going to get a top class camera on a mobile phone; you are always going to have to buy an individual device if you want to take some cracking pictures. Likewise, nothing can really match an iPod for on the move personal music playback can it?

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Apple announced the iPhone just over a year ago, and I anticipate that my next mobile phone may well be an iPhone. It is a wonderful device that combines many features together within its sexy shell, such as Wi-Fi, an iPod and of course a mobile phone! The iPod device embedded within the iPhone is actually so good that they released a separate version of the iPhone called the iPod touch which joined the iPod family. Not to mention the fact that there is so much room for expandability and more powerful applications now the iPhone Software Development Kit has been released to the public.

Whilst I was in America last year I visited an Apple store and had a play with an iPhone, so I know firsthand just what a magical device it is. Apple is well known for their innovation and their vision of constant and continued improvement, and as more generations of iPhone hit the shelves the device is only going to evolve. For this reason alone I think in five years time Apple will have a major hold on the mobile phone market.

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In conclusion, the Samsung G600 is great, great phone. Its aesthetics make it such a stylish phone to have and it offers almost everything you could want from a mobile phone in an efficient and refined way in terms of features, without the phone itself turning into a big fat PDA, or an iPhone! In reality, nothing in life is perfect, but the G600 makes the most of what it is and I am struggling to see how it could be improved. Of course, everything can be improved, but the fact that the G600 offers me that view is testament to what a good phone it is.

Final ratings:

Aesthetics - 9.5/10 - Definitely one of the sexiest phones I have owned, it is so slim and sleek and the metallic finish just renders it almost perfect.

Features - 8.0/10 - A 5 mega pixel camera, a great music player, and all the bog standard features of a "mobile phone"...you could not really expect much more without getting an iPhone or a PDA really.

Performance - 9.0/10 - It is **** hot quick (compared to a K800i) and has never crashed on me yet.

Overall rating - 9.5/10 - Its looks, features and general aura gain it such a high score, and it "just works" which makes it a good phone to have if you are craving the simple life.

Just for reference, my blog is UnknownLogic.com

Edited by Martyn
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Elliot B.

Shame it's a Samsung. I've had trouble opening photos taken from camera phones other than Samsung phones (that were sent from said-question other phones via. Bluetooth). How poor is that?

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WelshBluebird

You do get an adapter to use your own headphones (or at least I did with my G600). Ok, its a little annoying (as its a pretty long wire which you need to plug into the phone, then your headphones into the other end), but it still works.

@ king mustard, yeah, its a little annoying. You can open them (they get put into the downloaded images folder), but you can't view them full screen or zoom in.

Another thing that is irritating me though is that it takes ages for the camera to actually take the picture.

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Martyn
Shame it's a Samsung. I've had trouble opening photos taken from camera phones other than Samsung phones (that were sent from said-question other phones via. Bluetooth). How poor is that?

I didn't know about that. Having said that though, no one has tried to send me a photograph from their phone to mine as yet. You are right though, that is pretty poor.

You do get an adapter to use your own headphones (or at least I did with my G600). Ok, its a little annoying (as its a pretty long wire which you need to plug into the phone, then your headphones into the other end), but it still works.

@ king mustard, yeah, its a little annoying. You can open them (they get put into the downloaded images folder), but you can't view them full screen or zoom in.

Another thing that is irritating me though is that it takes ages for the camera to actually take the picture.

Oh poo yeah you are right actually. By the way, did you receive a Bluetooth headset with yours?

You visit TSR as well don't you :p

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Zoom7000

Martyn, how did you find the G600 camera? My wife has a G600 Pink and I have an N82. Both 5MP cameras, and I have found the N82 to produced much better quality pictures and also when using the camera moving the G600 around gave a lot of noticable lag. Whereas the N82 was smooth movement all the way.

Just wondering what your experiences were with the camera. Nice reveiw btw!

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Elliot B.
Martyn, how did you find the G600 camera? My wife has a G600 Pink and I have an N82. Both 5MP cameras, and I have found the N82 to produced much better quality pictures and also when using the camera moving the G600 around gave a lot of noticable lag. Whereas the N82 was smooth movement all the way.

Just wondering what your experiences were with the camera. Nice reveiw btw!

The N82 has the best camera on any mainstream phone to date, that's why.

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WelshBluebird
Oh poo yeah you are right actually. By the way, did you receive a Bluetooth headset with yours?

You visit TSR as well don't you :p

Nope I didn't. Pretty sure I just missed out on getting one though (got my G600 in january, but about 2 weeks before I did order it, I'm sure I saw an ad on the O2 site saying you get a free headset with it. Wasn't there when I did order the phone though).

And yeah, thats me lol.

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Elliot B.
Nope I didn't. Pretty sure I just missed out on getting one though (got my G600 in january, but about 2 weeks before I did order it, I'm sure I saw an ad on the O2 site saying you get a free headset with it. Wasn't there when I did order the phone though).

And yeah, thats me lol.

I'm on there too guys ;)

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Martyn
Martyn, how did you find the G600 camera? My wife has a G600 Pink and I have an N82. Both 5MP cameras, and I have found the N82 to produced much better quality pictures and also when using the camera moving the G600 around gave a lot of noticable lag. Whereas the N82 was smooth movement all the way.

Just wondering what your experiences were with the camera. Nice reveiw btw!

I have not tried the N82 camera. But, what I would say is the camera on the G600 is better than the camera I had on my K800i. It can take a while to take a picture and is generally a bit "laggy" though, the default picture quality is also low and you have to physically change the resolution of photographs to 5 mega pixel.

If you don't have the phone on silent though, when you zoom in the phone doesn't half make an irritating noise.

Like I said in my review though, I've not really played around with the camera "that" much, as I just use my IXUS 70.

And yeah, thats me lol.
I'm on there too guys ;)

TSR party :woot:!

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Elliot B.
I have not tried the N82 camera. But, what I would say is the camera on the G600 is better than the camera I had on my K800i. It can take a while to take a picture and is generally a bit "laggy" though, the default picture quality is also low and you have to physically change the resolution of photographs to 5 mega pixel.

If you don't have the phone on silent though, when you zoom in the phone doesn't half make an irritating noise.

Like I said in my review though, I've not really played around with the camera "that" much, as I just use my IXUS 70.

TSR party :woot:!

The K800i has a 3.2 MP camera and was released in July 2006. The G600 has a 5.0 MP camera and was released in August 2007. They're not really on the same level but then again, I still believe the K800i's photos would be better (especially in low-light conditions due to the Xenon flash).

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NightCrawler.

Another tsr'r here :D

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Damo R.

Good review Martyn I did read it on your blog but forgot to comment :p

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Martyn
Good review Martyn I did read it on your blog but forgot to comment :p

Naughty naughty :p

There are a few of my blog readers in this thread, well three, if you include me :laugh:

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